Day 1: Arrival in Amsterdam
Embarkation between 2:00-4:30pm in Amsterdam. Take the opportunity to go shopping or explore downtown Amsterdam, world famous for its canals, its quirky "leaning" buildings, museums, the Anne Frank House, the Waterlooplein Flea Market, the Dam Square in the historical center and heart of the city. Welcome meeting, cocktail, dinner and first briefing on board at 5:00pm. First night on board in Amsterdam.
Overnight in Amsterdam.
Day 2: Cruise Amsterdam – Zaandam | Cycle Zaandam – "Zaanse Schans" – Alkmaar (27 miles/44 km)
The first bike trip of this tour takes you via small villages through the beautiful flat and green polder landscape. The first stop is at the Zaanse Schans open air museum (free entry) with its traditional Old Dutch wooden houses, windmills and the cheese and clog factory. After this visit you will cycle through the “Land of Leeghwater,” a green polder area between Amsterdam, Alkmaar and Hoorn. Stroll through the former whaler’s village De Rijp and pass by the windmills of Schermerhorn. Your ship De Holland will be waiting for you near the historical city center of Alkmaar.
Overnight in Alkmaar.*
*The tours beginning between Mar 28-May 30 will have a slight variation to the Program on Day 2-3 due to construction on the Wilhelmina lock. On Day 2, once you reach the center of Alkmaar, the bicycles will be parked and stored safely and monitored in Alkmaar. At the end of the afternoon, a coach will bring you back to “De Holland” in Enkhuizen, a beautiful 17th-century town at the banks of the lake IJsselmeer with a rich cultural and maritime tradition.
Day 3: Dune tour: Cycle round-trip Alkmaar | Cruise Alkmaar – Den Helder (20 miles/33 km or 25 miles/40 km)
Today you can discover the beautiful North-Holland Dune reserve. This is a 5,300-hectare forest and dune area with its unique landscapes. The drinking water for almost the whole province of North-Holland is gained in these dunes. After a visit to the beach and artists village Bergen you will return to Alkmaar where you can visit the wonderful city center. In the afternoon De Holland will sail over the North-Holland Canal to the navy harbor of Den Helder.
Overnight in Den Helder.*
*The tours beginning between Mar 28-May 30 will have a slight variation to the Program on Day 2-3 due to construction on the Wilhelmina lock. On Day 3, following breakfast, a coach will bring you back to Alkmaar, where today’s bike tour starts. (Program continues as written above.)
Day 4: Cruise Den Helder – Oudeschild* | Cycle North Sea island of Texel; roundtrip tour from/to Oudeschild | Cruise Texel – Den Oever (your choice of distance: 9-41 miles/15-65 km)
During breakfast, De Holland will sail to the isle of Texel, where you can make a tour on the largest of the Dutch North Sea Isles. You will cycle through beautiful natural parks and have the opportunity for a stop and some bathing at the beach. Suggestion: cycle the beautiful “Thijsse-route” (with signposting, approximately 25 miles) through picturesque villages and landscapes and visit the seal sanctuary “Ecomare.” At the end of your cycling tour you can enjoy a locally brewed beer during a visit to the small brewery near Oudeschild. During dinner, De Holland will return to the mainland and sail to Den Oever.
Overnight in Den Oever.
*In case of unfavorable weather conditions, the captain may decide to sail to Texel on Monday evening or not at all: in the latter case, you can reach Texel by ferry (price approximately €5 per person, not included)
Day 5: Cruise Den Oever – Stavoren | Cycle Southwest Friesland round trip (27 miles/43 km or 34 miles/55 km)
The vessel will cross the large inland lake IJsselmeer to cruise to Stavoren in the Province of Friesland. You can opt for a shorter or longer cycling tour: discover the nature area of Gaasterland or explore a part of the wide lake district, that Friesland is well-known for. You can also combine both options. Night in Stavoren, one of the famous 11 cities of Friesland.
Overnight in Stavoren.
Day 6: Cruise Stavoren – Medemblik | Cycle Medemblik – Hoorn – Enkhuizen (19 miles/30 km or 31 miles/50 km)
De Holland will cross the IJsselmeer again during breakfast. Take the short bike trip from Medemblik along the IJsselmeer coast directly to Enkhuizen, where you can spend the afternoon. Enkhuizen is an old city with many centuries of maritime tradition. The “herring city” boasts a beautiful old harbor, a historical old town center, and the very interesting Zuiderzeemuseum. If you prefer a longer cycling tour, ride from Medemblik to the former Dutch East India Company town of Hoorn, in the 17th century one of the world’s leading harbors. Enjoy your lunch break and make a short stroll in the old city center. Continue by bike to Enkhuizen via some picturesque rural villages. In the evening you can join a short city walk.
Overnight in Enkhuizen.
Day 7: Cruise Enkhuizen – Volendam | Cycle Volendam – Waterland – Amsterdam (22 miles/35 km or 31 miles/50 km)
During breakfast, the ship will cruise to Volendam. Your final day of cycling will lead you through the beautiful area of Waterland with its hundreds of small lakes and tiny canals. Near Volendam you will have the opportunity to visit a cheese farm. Recommended (extra miles) is a detour to the former island of Marken, to continue through the water shaped region of Waterland back to the Dutch capital city of Amsterdam.
The afternoon and evening are yours to enjoy everything Amsterdam has to offer. If you didn't go for a canal tour on the first day, you will have the opportunity to do so today.
Overnight in Amsterdam.
Day 8: Amsterdam: Disembarkation
After breakfast, disembarkation by 9:30am and end of the tour.
If guests don’t want to cycle a day (or more) they can relax and stay on board while the ship is cruising. Please note: lunch will not be served on board, so you can enjoy your packed lunch. In case of unfavorable weather conditions, the captain may decide to change the route.
Please inquire for discounted prices for Mar 28; Apr 4, 11, 18; Oct 3, 10, 2020 tour starts.